USA: Luxury Lincoln Blackwood pickup flops
Lincoln's luxury Blackwood pickup truck seems destined to go down as one of the automotive world's US marketing failures.
Destined to be built at the "exclusive" rate of 10,000 a year, it made only 549 sales from launch to the end of March and there are apparently another 800 or so sitting around unsold.
Ford's Lincoln operation now says it will stop building the Blackwood by next April, and claims it always intended to build the $52,500-$54,495 model for only 18 months.
The Blackwood is a full-size, luxury SUV with a pickup bed at the back instead of a normal closed-in third-row passenger or load-carrying section.
Though the concept seems to have failed for Lincoln, GM's Cadillac sold 3,128 of its rival Escalade EXT in the same period Lincoln shifted just 549 Blackwoods.
Lincoln says that slow Blackwood sales are partly due to problems that delayed the start of production for months.
Impracticality might also be an issue. The Blackwood load bed is only four feet, eight inches (1.32-metres) long and is reached through a power tonneau cover and side-hinged Dutch doors, all of which must be closed for load carrying.